South Oakland residents meet with PWSA about lead in water

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On January 9th, OPDC hosted a community meeting to discuss concerns about water quality in South Oakland. We convened the meeting after hearing from some neighbors that their water had elevated lead levels. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) and Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) both attended to speak with concerned residents about lead contamination sources and the precautions that can be taken to remedy them. See the full meeting minutes here.

“Water quality is a big concern for me and my family. It is exciting to see our neighbors gather for a common purpose and we are grateful that organizations like PWSA and WHE are working with us to combat elevated lead levels,” said Catherine Adams, a South Oakland resident who attended the meeting.

Will Pickering, PWSA’S Director of Communications, discussed PWSA’s commitment to reducing lead exposure. He asked residents to help PWSA locate dangerous lead service lines by testing their home’s water.

“We appreciate the work OPDC has done to connect us with Oakland residents. We are making it a priority to attend neighborhood community meetings to talk with residents about PWSA’s plan to improve water quality and service to customers.”

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis of WHE distributed free water filters and spoke about their efforts to educate Pittsburgh and Millvale communities about the health impacts of lead and available solutions.

Since the meeting, OPDC staff and volunteers have knocked on 325 doors throughout South Oakland to inform residents about elevated lead levels and assist them in testing their water. We have received positive feedback from South Oakland neighbors about this organizing effort and will soon expand the outreach into other Oakland communities.

Special thanks to PWSA and WHE for sharing their knowledge and resources with our South Oakland neighbors.

Are you interested in receiving a free lead test kit from the PWSA? Please contact Andrea Boykowycz at or 412.621.7863 ext. 17 for more information.